"In response to criticism that the pieces on our first duets CD were too short and didn't take time enough to develop, Don and I went for length and thickness. I sent him the very same sourcetracks that Ernesto tackled on our first duets record, the first of several times I would do so during the Improvised Duets Series, pollinating different 'Finishers' with the same sourcetracks to hear what unique outcomes they would make happen. Don Campau accompanied my solo tracks (dobro, Strum-stick, Can-Jo, saz, flour sifter) using electric, acoustic, and classical guitars SIMULTANEOUSLY." - Bret
I reviewed Vol I of Bret and Don's Duet earlier, and while I overall enjoyed it, my main criticism was that many of the tracks were begging for further development. Well on Vol II we hear the duo answering that call, having produced a follow-up that is lightyears ahead of the first. The guys grabbed me right out of the starting gate with a bit of drone and noise psychedelia that includes free-improv guitar ("Howl"). Is it avant space rock? Perhaps so. "Kessel/Crumbs" is another standout track with very cool dual guitars, one playing somewhat jazzy patterns and the other strumming in a style that straddles the line between jazz and avant-rock. I dig the variety of string attacks and the stylings develop through a variety of patterns and sounds, continuing to explore drone and noise territory. I'm really enjoying this sound that's rooted in free-improv guitar, but explores spacier realms as well. Overall, there's loads of excellent guitar ideas throughout that really grabbed me with their artful use of noise, drones, and FINE creative playing.
"Bret Hart/Don Campau - DUETS, volume 2: Well, you put underground masters together, & you can't expect anything less than guitar pandemonium! This CD has music(s) far different from anything I've ever heard Don doing (& I've reviewed a LOT of his works, as well as Bret's). The word that comes to mind (even on my favorite track, "lot") is thick... don't know (for sure) why, but I had a flashback to some STP I once took. This music is different from anything you've ever heard Hart do before, too... both of these (almost legendary) figures in the home music community are exploring here, & as regular readers here know, there is nothing more enchanting to my (twisted) ears than music that stretches them! There is some "over-hum", so don't look for a "glossy" album. All in all, though, the adventuresome listener will find (sonic) waves they can surf all th' way to Hawaii (& back) on... gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!"- Rotcod Zzaj